This video by Human Rights Watch shows how private probation companies can strip people of basic necessities and jail them because they can’t afford to pay their court debt and exorbitant probation fees.
Because Tzedek DC's client did not have private property to park his car on, he was forced to park in different spots around his neighborhood. As a result, he received several parking tickets., which doubled after he was unable to pay. He fell ill in 2012, and was unable to renew his license due to outstanding debt. He feels very strongly that the inability to renew his license has negatively affected his health, both directly and through the stress it has caused.
This publication uses personal accounts of people in five different states who struggled to pay their court debt to illustrate the negative effects of debtors’ prisons on individuals, the economy, and the justice system.
This policy brief describes how often people in Rhode Island are jailed for nonpayment of court fines and fees and barriers to repayment.
Shortly after Chad Walker relocated to Hawaii for a new job, his employer closed and he became unemployed. During this time, Walker incurred traffic tickets that he could not afford to pay. He didn't find out that his license was suspended due to the unpaid ticket until he went to renew his license in 2012.
Melissa Stephens, a mother of three, was forced to move from Wichita, Kansas to Las Vegas, Nevada because of $8000 of traffic ticket debt.